pressure being exerted by the u.s. on the iraqi government to halt that type of aid, just as the supporters of the opposition, including saudi arabia, turkey and qatar are reportedly sending more weapons and money to the rebels. chris? >> ayman, thank you. more than 70,000 dead since the start of the conflict. remarkable. thanks for your reporting. >>> and for more on the secretary's middle east trip, i'm joined by nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell, traveling with secretary kerry and was able to give us this report by phone from afghanistan. >> reporter: chris, this is secretary kerry's sixth trip to afghanistan in the last couple years. but his first as secretary. and he's got a good relationship with hamid karzai, the very eccentric president of afghanistan. and this is a mission here. the question is, is he going to play good cop or bad cop today. given the fact that karzai was so difficult the last time he visited with a top american, which was chuck hagel, of course, defense secretary. kerry has such a good relationship, he's going to try to smooth things over.